China FO presser Aug 8, 2022
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin held a Regular Press Conference on August 8, 2022.
Xinhua News Agency: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi just wrapped up attending the ASEAN-plus foreign ministers’ meetings. What’s your comment on the outcomes of these meetings?
Wang Wenbin: From August 4 to August 5, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting, the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and the ASEAN Regional Forum Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. This is the first time that the ASEAN-plus foreign ministers’ meetings are held physically since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the meetings, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi elaborated on China’s propositions on China-ASEAN cooperation, East Asia cooperation and regional security cooperation and held in-depth exchange of views with other participating countries on strengthening solidarity and cooperation, maintaining security in Asia and promoting recovery and development.
All parties agreed to accelerate regional economic integration, fully implement the RCEP, deepen cooperation in public health, digital economy, green development and other fields to achieve low-carbon and sustainable development and better benefit the people of all countries.
China has played a constructive role in further promoting the sound and solid development of East Asian cooperation and demonstrated its sense of responsibility as a major country.
During the meetings, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi further elaborated on China’s stern position on the US’s provocation that infringed upon China’s sovereignty. He stressed that the one-China principle is what underpins peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
Many foreign ministers at the meeting said that they adhere to the one-China policy and understand and support the necessary measures China has taken to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The ASEAN foreign ministers released a statement on the cross-strait development reiterating ASEAN Member States’ support for the one-China policy.
Prensa Latina: Right now, Cuba is facing one of its worst fires in a few depots. So, the Cuban government calls for international help and many countries have answered to that call. What’s China’s comment about this tragedy? And does China have plans to offer help and aid to the Cuban government in this situation?
Wang Wenbin: China and Cuba are good friends, good comrades and good brothers. We express our sorrow and condolences for the loss of life in the accident and extend sympathies to the bereaved families and the injured. The Red Cross Society of China has decided to offer emergency humanitarian assistance to the Red Cross Society of Cuba. We stand ready to provide the Cuban side with further assistance.
Bloomberg: Can you help us understand if the drills in the immediate area of Taiwan have ceased as scheduled? Last week you announced some drills in the area. My question is, have they ceased as scheduled or are there ongoing military drills that you can share more details with us?
Wang Wenbin: The Chinese military has issued a notice on that. Let me refer you to that.
AFP: As you mentioned, the Chinese military said today that it will continue to carry out joint exercises around Taiwan. What is the reason for this? Is this part of the countermeasures against Pelosi’s Taiwan visit? And if so, why were the exercises last week not considered sufficient?
Wang Wenbin: In total disregard of the firm opposition and repeated representations of the Chinese side and with the connivance and arrangement of the US government, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi went ahead with the visit to China’s Taiwan region. This reckless move seriously undermined China’s sovereignty, seriously interfered in China’s internal affairs, seriously violated the commitments made by the US side, and seriously jeopardized peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. As State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointed out, China’s position is justified, reasonable and lawful; our measures are firm, strong and measured; and our military exercises are open, transparent and professional. They are consistent with domestic and international laws, as well as international practices. They are aimed at sending a warning to the perpetrator and punishing the “Taiwan independence” forces. We will firmly safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, resolutely stop the US’s attempt to play the Taiwan card to contain China, and shatter the Taiwan authorities’ wishful thinking to pursue “Taiwan independence” by soliciting the support of the US. By doing so, China is also upholding the international law and the basic norms governing international relations, particularly non-interference in countries’ internal affairs, which is the most important international norm enshrined in the UN Charter.?
Anadolu Agency: The drills are mentioned in previous questions. But the Notice to Airmen, NOTAM, which was published for those activities, expired yesterday on August 7, at noon. To continue the exercises seems like a move which is not very consistent with the internationally customary practices. So, will the NOTAM for those new exercises be declared? Will there be any warning for civilian shipping or air traffic?
Wang Wenbin: Taiwan is part of China’s territory. China’s normal military exercises are open, transparent and professional. Relevant authorities have issued notices in a timely manner. They are consistent with domestic and international laws, as well as established international practices. This serves as a message of warning to the provocateurs and is also a legitimate move to safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity
Phoenix TV: On August 5, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, and Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa released a joint statement after holding a trilateral strategic dialogue. “There is no change in the respective one China policies, where applicable, and basic positions on Taiwan of Australia, Japan, or the United States”, they said in the statement. Similar wording was found in the statement released earlier by the G7 foreign ministers and the EU High Representative last week. What’s China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: The one-China principle is an established international consensus and widely accepted basic norm in international relations. It constitutes part of the post-WWII world order and is affirmed in UNGA Resolution 2758. It is the political foundation for the establishment and development of diplomatic relations between China and countries in the world. The Office of Legal Affairs of the UN Secretariat stressed in its legal?opinions that “the United Nations?considers ‘Taiwan’ as a province of China with no separate status”. Certain countries have unilaterally added preconditions and provisos to the one-China policy in an attempt to distort, fudge and hollow out their one-China commitment. This is illegal, null and void. China is firmly against this.
The definition of the one-China principle is crystal clear, i.e., there is only one China in the world, Taiwan is part of China, and the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. The applicability of this principle is universal, unconditional and indisputable. All countries having diplomatic relations with China and all Member States of the UN should unconditionally adhere to the one-China principle and follow the guidance of UNGA Resolution 2758. What some individual countries have done is essentially an attempt to misrepresent and distort the one-China principle. This is in effect challenging the basic principles of international law and basic norms governing international relations. This is also a challenge to the post-WWII world order.
A person without credibility has no place in society; and a country that loses its credibility would falter. We urge certain countries to make sure that they read about the history, abide by the commitments they seriously made in black and white and recognize how dangerous and detrimental it is to act in bad faith and to justify the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces. Attempts to challenge the one-China principle, international rule of law and the international order are bound to be rejected by the international community and get nowhere.
The Hindu: This is a question on the visit of a Chinese ship to Sri Lanka. Reports said China’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka met with President Wickremesinghe on Saturday. This followed the request from Sri Lanka that China delay the visit of the research vessel Yuan Wang 5. Can you confirm that Sri Lanka made this request to delay the visit and do you also have a response?
Wang Wenbin: I have noted relevant reports and would like to stress two points. First, Sri Lanka is a transportation hub in the Indian Ocean. Scientific research vessels from various countries including China have made port calls in Sri Lanka for replenishment. China always exercises freedom of the high seas in accordance with law and fully respects coastal countries’ jurisdiction over scientific research activities in waters under their jurisdiction. Second, Sri Lanka is a sovereign country. It has the right to develop relations with other countries based on its development interests. To have normal cooperation is the independent choice made by our two countries. It serves the shared interests of both sides and does not target any third party. It is completely unjustified for certain countries to cite the so-called “security concerns” to pressure Sri Lanka. As Sri Lanka grapples with economic and political difficulties, to grossly interfere in Sri Lanka’s normal exchange and cooperation with other countries is to exploit its vulnerability, which is morally irresponsible and against the basic norms governing international relations. We urge the relevant parties to see China’s marine scientific research activities in a rational light and stop disrupting normal exchange and cooperation between China and Sri Lanka.
CCTV: About the joint statement on the situation across the Taiwan Strait and the Taiwan question released by the Australian Foreign Minister together with the US Secretary of State and the Japanese Foreign Minister after their trilateral strategic dialogue, how does China see this move by Australia? against the background of the current atmosphere of China-Australia relations??
Wang Wenbin: I just stated China’s position on the statement by the US, Australia and Japan.
In the past few years, China-Australia relations have experienced serious difficulties for reasons caused by the Australian side. The merits of the issues involved are quite clear. China’s position on developing relations with Australia is consistent and clear. We urge the Australian side to develop a clear understanding of the situation, pursue the right course, respect China’s core interests and major concerns, abide by the one-China principle, observe basic norms governing international relations, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, stop saying or doing the things that undermine regional peace and stability, refrain from echoing or assisting certain countries’ misguided strategy of using the Taiwan question to contain China, and avoid creating new obstacles for China-Australia ties.
China-Arab TV: Last week, your colleague shared some information about the visit to Xinjiang by diplomats from Islamic countries. Could you give us more on the visit?
Wang Wenbin: From August 1 to August 5, a delegation of diplomatic envoys posted in China from 30 Islamic countries, including Algeria, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, visited the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region upon invitation. The delegation visited Kashgar, Aksu and Urumqi, and they visited mosques, Islamic institutes, grassroot communities, cotton fields and the former sites of vocational education centers, among others. They also visited Uyghur families, talked to local religious figures, toured an exhibition on counter-terrorism and de-radicalization, and saw with their own eyes that people from all ethnic backgrounds live in harmony, their freedom of religious belief are fully protected and breakthroughs have been made in poverty alleviation and rural revitalization, which is the true reality in Xinjiang. Members of the delegation commended the Chinese government’s approach of putting people at the center and enormous effort and achievement in Xinjiang’s economic development and ethnic solidarity. They said that the fruits in Xinjiang taste so sweet, and the life of the people there is just as sweet as the fruits. They said that people in Xinjiang live a happy, free, harmonious and peaceful life, who enjoy freedom of religious belief, and the languages and cultural heritage there are well protected. The envoys said they have full confidence in the future of Xinjiang and hope their countries can share with Xinjiang the opportunities presented by Belt and Road cooperation and have more cooperation in infrastructure construction, modern agricultural development, education and scientific research with Xinjiang.
Seeing is believing. This is not the first time a foreign delegation to Xinjiang has made such remarks. It is the people of Xinjiang who have the best say in whether the situation of human rights and religious freedom in Xinjiang is good or not, and the international community also bears witness to this.
Bloomberg: I just want you to clarify, did the ASEAN group support China on the recent Taiwan actions? I’m asking because Antony Blinken is also citing ASEAN supporting the US position. I wonder if you could clarify a little bit about the ASEAN response specifically on recent Taiwan actions by China?
Wang Wenbin: I am happy to share with you some details in this regard.
The ASEAN foreign ministers released a statement on the cross-Strait development reiterating their commitment to the one-China policy.
The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos released a statement saying the following: The Lao PDR reaffirms its consistent policy of supporting “One China Policy” and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and opposes any intention aiming at creating a situation for “two China” or “one China, one Taiwan”. The Lao PDR reiterates its support for the policy of the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the national reunification by peaceful means.
Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn said the US has recently violated China’s sovereignty, reneged on its own promise and heightened the tension across the Taiwan Strait, which exposed Washington’s failure to match its words with actions as well as its hegemonic nature. Cambodia supports China’s effort to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests, and respond firmly to the provocative moves of the US.
Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said during talks with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the East Asia cooperation foreign ministers’ meetings that Singapore has a clear and consistent “One China” policy and is opposed to Taiwan independence and any unilateral moves to change the status quo.
The Malaysian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China released a statement urging Western nations against practicing double standards, trying to compare Taiwan with Ukraine. “On the one hand, they condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine … but, on the other hand, they intend to interfere in the internal affairs of the Taiwan Strait region”, he said. These acts are typical examples of using democracy as a pretext to interfere in and infringe upon other countries’ sovereignty in violation of basic principles of international law.
In fact, not just ASEAN countries, more than 170 countries in the international community have voiced staunch support for China on the Taiwan question through various means. They form an overwhelming majority versus the US and its few followers.
Global Times: According to reports, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on countries with nuclear weapons to commit to the “no first use” policy and stressed that it is totally unacceptable to admit the possibility of a nuclear war while attending the Peace Memorial Ceremony on August 6 in Hiroshima, Japan. This is the first time a UN Secretary-General has made this call, according to a UN official. What’s China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: We applaud Secretary-General António Guterres’s call for relevant parties to commit to the “no first use” of nuclear weapons. Since the first day of possession of nuclear weapons, China has advocated for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. We have pledged to “no first use” of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances and pledged unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. China is the only one among the five nuclear weapon states to have made these pledges. We call on the other nuclear weapon states to adopt the same policy so as to jointly safeguard global strategic stability and effectively reduce the risks of a nuclear war.
Reuters: The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines said today in Taipei that the Chinese military drills won’t prevent him from visiting friends. What’s China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: Just now I made it clear that China’s military exercises are open, transparent and professional. They are consistent with domestic and international laws, as well as international practices. They are aimed at sending a warning to the perpetrator and punishing the “Taiwan independence” forces. The vast majority of countries in the world have expressed their understanding and support.?
As to the remarks you mentioned, I want to stress that there’s only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. No one can change this fact no matter what pretext or gambit they use. Standing up for the one-China principle is the right thing to do. It has the overwhelming support of the international community and represents the trend of the world. We believe relevant countries will eventually recognize this trend and make a decision that is consistent with where the trend is leading.
Beijing Youth Daily: A ceremony was held in Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6 to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in his remarks that Japan will endeavor toward “a world without nuclear weapons”, “no matter how narrow, steep, or difficult that path may be” and that Japan will be “firmly upholding the Three Non-Nuclear Principles” toward that end. What is China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: We have noted relevant reports. Conversations about the atomic bombing must not be disconnected from its historical context. The Japanese side mentioned the bombing itself without any deep reflection on the history of aggression. I wonder how the intentional community, including the US, thinks of this.
Japan, as the only country ever hit by a nuclear strike, has long styled itself as a “model student” in international nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, and advocates a world without nuclear weapons. In reality, however, Japan has been sitting comfortably under the US’s “nuclear umbrella”. It opposes and obstructs the US’s relinquishing its policy of first use of nuclear weapons. Some Japanese politicians have even clamored for nuclear sharing with the US and claim that the US’s deployment of nuclear weapons in Japan should not be a taboo topic. The Japanese government not only connives at such discussion, but also deleted the formulation of the Three Non-Nuclear Principles in the report submitted to the 10th Review Conference of the NPT. People couldn’t help but ask: What is Japan’s real intention? Can its actions match its words regarding nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation?
We urge Japan, as a non-nuclear-weapon state party to the NPT, to earnestly fulfill its international obligations, strictly abide by its Three Non-Nuclear Principles, not to develop or introduce nuclear weapons and take real actions to contribute to a vision of “a world without nuclear weapons”.
Beijing Daily: Recent conflicts between Israel and an armed group in Palestine caused mass casualties on the Palestinian side. On August 7, the two sides reached a ceasefire under Egypt’s mediation. What is China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: The recent conflict between Israel and Palestine has caused many civilian casualties, including children. It is indeed very heartrending. China firmly opposes and condemns all violence targeting civilians. We welcome the ceasefire under Egypt’s mediation and appreciate the efforts of the Egyptian side. As the situation is still fragile at the moment, we urgent all parties, especially the Israeli side, to exercise restraint, follow relevant UN resolutions, avoid escalating the tension again and safeguard stability of the Palestine-Israel situation.?
The underlying reason for the recurrent conflicts between Israel and Palestine is the absence of the implementation of the two-state solution and long denial of the Palestinian people’s legitimate appeal of establishing an independent state. China calls for a more authoritative and more influential international peace conference at a larger scale to work for a lasting and just solution to the question of Palestine on the basis of the two-state solution. China will continue to firmly support the Palestinians in their just cause of restoring their legitimate rights and will continue to make relentless efforts for that.
Bloomberg: On Friday, there was an announcement whereby China listed many different areas where communication between it and the US would either be curtailed or stopped completely. I wonder if you could tell about what areas will continue to be open for discussion, where lines of communication will remain open between China and the US?
Wang Wenbin: For any dialogue and communication to happen, there needs to be sincerity in the first place. China will continue to make démarches to the US side over Pelosi’s visit to the Taiwan region. We urge the US to earnestly reflect on and correct its mistakes, stop its connivance at and support for “Taiwan independence” separatist forces, and stop playing the “Taiwan card” to contain China. At present, it is particularly important for the US to stop confounding right with wrong and deflecting blame, and stop escalating the situation and aggravating the crisis. The US needs to abide by the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués with real actions.
The Paper: Recently, Azerbaijani and Armenian troops exchanged fire multiple times at the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh, which claimed one life on the Azerbaijani side and two on the Armenian side, and wounded many. What is China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: We have noted relevant reports. Azerbaijan and Armenia are both friendly cooperation partners of China. We hope both sides can comply with the ceasefire consensus, avoid further escalation of the situation and address tensions and differences through political dialogue.
Reuters: According to Myanmar’s state media, the Ambassador to China recently passed away. Could you confirm that China is aware of this and is China aware of how he passed away?
Wang Wenbin: What you said is true. Since Ambassador U Myo Thant Pe assumed office in 2019, he had been actively promoting the development of China-Myanmar relations. We expressed our deep sorrow and regret for his sudden passing and extend our deep condolences and sympathies to his family. China is in close communication with the Myanmar side over the ambassador’s passing and will do all we can to provide convenience to the Myanmar side over the follow-up matters.###
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